John Harris

Journalist & Author

For the first time ever I am defending banks. Here’s why | John Harris

What have the City fat cats who caused the crash and got away scot free ever done for us? We’ll find out when Brexit forces them – and their taxes – abroad

The reasons why 17.4 million British people trooped to the polling stations last summer and put their crosses in the leave box have been endlessly analysed, and often crudely carved in half – as if some Brexit supporters were angry about immigration and others fixated on questions of sovereignty, and that was pretty much that.

But 10 years after the French bank BNP Paribas heralded the coming financial crisis by suspending two hedge funds that had effectively proved worthless, it’s worth reprising a pretty basic point: among the furies that exploded on 23 June last year were lingering grievances about the financial crash of 2007-8. The years since the cashpoints almost ran out had seen simmering anger about the endless billions pumped into the big banks and the lack of any obvious reckoning – not to mention exasperation with politicians chained to the demands of high finance, and not nearly interested enough in the millions of people whose only acquaintance with the City lay in the mess it had made.

To the delight of Irish estate agents, tailors and wine merchants, more than a dozen banks will shift business to Dublin

Related: We let the 2007 financial crisis go to waste | Torsten Bell

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